Information Concerning Stabilisers for those reading this blog

with no experience of caravanning or trailer towing. 

This stabiliser is several years old, but it still meets the specifications prescribed for a new item.

Similar items of the same type are still on sale in large caravan dealer’s show rooms, but under a different brand name.

The rather grubby spherical item of maroon colour is the cover over the tow ball. I keep the latter well greased.

The approximately circular item to the right of the tow ball contains the friction pads held between plates of metal.

The nut in the centre of the circular item can be tightened or slackened in order to obtain the prescribed amount of friction.

To measure the friction  place a set of accurate bathroom scales against the right hand end of the lever and apply pressure. The reading should be taken just as the stabiliser arm begins to move.

The amount of frictional force is laid down by the manufacturers, but according to the caravan club’s advice section for members it is almost exactly the same for all types. In my view the limiting factor is the amount of torque the towing bracket of the tow car will stand.

The caravan club did not give the specified torque for the ALKO stabiliser, presumably because it can not be adjusted

In use on the road the right hand end of the  stabiliser arm ( as shown in the photograph above) fits into a plastic mounting on the front of the caravan chassis, so that if the caravan oscillates from side to side  ( snakes) when being towed the friction between the sections of the circular part of the stabiliser should dampen down the oscillations.

For details of how to test whether the stabiliser is likely to be of any use on the road go to  section  18a by scrolling to the end of this blog and then clicking on “Older Entries,”  and scrolling further.

To read the 1994 Bath University result on Stabilisers

 go to section 2e

The 2003 Bath University report on stabilisers supports the 1994 result.

I shall add further comments on this within the next few days.


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